September 2 2014

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The Dolce & Gabbana Man: “Born To Seduce”


This Fall, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana released the One Gentleman, a crisp, cool follow-up to their Matthew McConaughey-fronted smash, the One. (McConaughey returns as the face of this second effort, too.) Who is the Dolce & Gabbana Gentleman? Ask the designers, and they’ll tell you: He’s strong, self-aware, sophisticated, and—you guessed it—born to seduce. He’ll find it that much easier to do so, now that he’s been spritzed with this citrusy floral, which opens with notes of pepper and grapefruit and evolves on the skin to reveal traces of lavender, fennel, and vanilla. Below, checks in with the duo to talk about where they’ve come from, where they’re going, and finding that elusive scent of home.

The One Gentleman follows on the heels of the One for Men. How are the two scents different? Did you hope to build on the first fragrance with the new one? Or is it more of a departure?

SG: To us, the One for Men was the symbol of Dolce & Gabbana aesthetics for men, which is to say: a strong, virile man, born to seduce.

DD: The One Gentleman is not only the evolution of that fragrance but, first and foremost, the evolution of the Dolce & Gabbana man’s image…

SG: [He's] a self-aware man, somebody who doesn’t need to show anything to anybody anymore, but who’s not arrogant. He’s learned, sophisticated, and elegant in everything he does.

DD: …a gentleman all around.

Do the two of you have different preferences when it comes to fragrances? How do you work together to create a scent that represents your separate points of view?

DD: Our way of working is always the same, whether we are working on a fragrance or on a collection. We decide on the message we want to communicate, then we either work together or on our own; it depends on the mood. Once a week, we put all of our ideas on the table, we discuss…

SG: “This I like; this other I don’t; this one I would do differently.”

DD: We often start at opposite sides of a spectrum, but we always end up finding a solution which accommodates both our tastes. It’s difficult to explain the balance we have been able to create, but after so many years together, everything comes naturally.

Speaking of your collections, how does “designing” a fragrance compare to designing a garment?

SG: They would seem two very different things, but the creative process is the same, really. We start from an idea, and we develop it according to what we are working on at that very moment.

DD: [Although] when it comes to fragrances, it might be a bit more difficult, because it’s about creating a world of emotions linked to essential oils, which are kind of intangible.

Which scents do you like, personally?

SG: It’s not so much about fragrances as it is about essences, and those vary depending on the period and the mood. Right now I really like patchouli essence.

DD: While I like those that are linked to my land, Sicily.

SG: And, in actual fact, the One Gentleman is really the union of patchouli and, among others, Sicilian citrus fruits!

Your menswear label recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. What do you hope to achieve by the time your fragrance line hits its 20th year?

SG: To be perfectly honest, it’s not something we think about. Many of the things we have done in these years have happened by chance and led us to do things we had not planned in the slightest. We like to think it is going to continue and evolve with us, very much like the world we have created.

Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

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